Discussion There is a special place in hell for Korean protagonists...

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Fluffums, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. Fluffums

    Fluffums 【R-18 Researcher】【Seeker of Moe】

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    It's also known as the "Animal Realm" in Buddhism.

    People living in this realm, you see, are stuck in the mode of survival of the fittest, with no interest in anything outside of what they know (unless it's related to survival). Aside from fighting for survival, they seek comfort and avoid discomfort, and have no creativity or sense of humor.

    The only thing remotely off is "seeking comfort" since Korean protagonists have a weird way of working constantly, but that's only because they're excessively seeking survival, even though they have no goals outside the act of surviving and living comfortably. But then, replace "comfort" with "money" and... While they're smart and able to make detailed plans for the future, their endgame is a middle-class lifestyle and dying peacefully after a long, uneventful "ever after". The few who don't work constantly in a constant state of fight-or-flight? Well, they usually laze around when they can be comfortable, destroy anything that makes them uncomfortable, and go back to lazing around, don't they?

    It's interesting to me how of all the KR novel protagonists (male mostly, some female too) I remember reading, easily 20+ novels, I can't think of a protagonist who doesn't spend at least 3/4 of the novel like that (in the prologue or backstory and near the end of the story sometimes being exceptions). I wonder why these authors avoid protagonists having specific goals/dreams outside of surviving and having money. It makes it exceptionally hard for me to empathize with them because it's too basic.

    I mean, pretty much everyone wants to live and live comfortably. But that's usually just the start. We want to live comfortably so we can pursue whatever it is we want to pursue. If we're satisfied at living comfortably... then we're just animals, right? And that's really fine. If Korean Protagonist Guy wants to live like that, it's fine, but... l feel like you could substitute a pet cat with equal IQ and knowledge for any Korean protagonist and it would be pretty much the same story, but 1000x better because you don't expect hopes or dreams, ambitions or desires, from a cat. And because mofumofu.

    (disclaimer: there are some genres I don't read, and many many untranslated novels, so I don't speak of all korean protagonists. Just the ones I've read. Around 25 or so far enough into the novel to be confident?)

    (further disclaimer: I don't mean to say korean protagonists are inferior to other nations' webnovel/light novel protagonists - each nation has its own strengths and failings)

    What I'm most interested in is:

    Do you know any Korean protagonists who are different?

    Does it even bother you (if you've read more than a handful) if they're all like that?

    Would you read a korean-style novel about a pet cat that got isekai'd / separated from its owners due to a dungeon outbreak / etc and would stop at nothing to get back to its life of free meals and all the petting it could ever want?
     
  2. ANonMouse

    ANonMouse Well-Known Member

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    I've read a few where the protag was humorous, but nothing that really wowed me into remembering the title. As for goals, don't they usually involve dying or sick family members in VR novels? There's also one in the genre I feel you're talking about where ex military guy tries to look into how his brother died by going into the tower his brother went and died in. Strangely enough though, my favorite ones are usually where there's no real motivation aside from survival. Probably because it's the best type of character you can put yourself into for actiony novels.

    Like, there's tons of movies where the main character is expressionless like Neo from the Matrix series, and it's theorized it's so we can mentally wear them like a skin as we go through their adventures without having to be slowed down by trying to interpret and relate to their emotions. Maybe a lot of these Korean protags are designed as shells for us to wear as we go through the ride of a story.
     
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  3. Amaruna Myu

    Amaruna Myu ugly squid dokja (●´∀`●)

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    this is a fantastic analysis :blobpopcorn_cool::blobsmilehappyeyes::blobxd:
    you can try making on for female romance protagonists blobmelt_thumbs
     
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  4. TDDM

    TDDM Well-Known Member

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    If they are in world where they die if they don't take survival as a mine priority i don't blame them. If it is slice of life or some romance I would agree but in life or death situations not necesserrily.
     
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  5. The Hamster Overlord

    The Hamster Overlord Mad scientist/Revered wizard/Alleged antichrist

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    That's almost Earth
     
  6. Miku

    Miku

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    1. Yes. First, look at the non-fantasy, modern day, second chance series. They get better work-life balance than the fantasy counterpart.
    2. No. I just drop it if it gets boring.
    3. No. Switch cat to dog, but even then I won't read that. Cat seems like the creature that will choose solitary life if they get stronger because of killing monsters in a dungeon break. Dog is more loyal to the owner, and I say this as a cat lover.
     
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  7. flag9801

    flag9801 Well-Known Member

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    well we have abit of creativity so it should be different
     
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  8. Shio

    Shio Moderator Staff Member

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    This line perfectly describe most young working adult rn tho.

    Heck. My dream is to have enough money so I could retire early and life lazy life.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
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  9. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    Wait, nonstop fighting is your idea of hell? That sounds like a regular work day on Earth! lol.
    I thought they would be locked up in a library of all the most popular anime and webnovels ever made.... that went on hiatus and were never completed. Now that would be hell. :ROFLMAO:
     
  10. elengee

    elengee Daoist Ninefaps

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    No wonder they're all necromancers, it's the Hell VIP treatment!~
     
  11. Fluffums

    Fluffums 【R-18 Researcher】【Seeker of Moe】

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    Buddhism doesn't really have a hell, technically. The idea is that pretty much any of the realms of existence are "bad" in some way. For instance, the realm of the Devas is for people who are living blissful, happy lives and have never known suffering - but that keeps them from improving themselves, so the next life will be bad.

    Mostly the only female protagonist novels I read are yuri for some reason. I do feel like it would be different based on the nationality and gender of the author, though.

    Good points. However, though it feels bad saying this, taking care of family is also "self-comfort" and "survival of the fittest". If they had a broader goal like protecting semi-unrelated people (a sister's school, a family member's business, etc) it's different but just saving a family member's life or guaranteeing their comfort isn't unusual at all for animals.

    The one you mentioned, is it Second Life Ranker? I haven't read that, but it reminds me of the description. I'll check it out.

    And yeah, it makes sense to have a blank slate protagonist for certain stories, whether they're power trip fantasy or rom-com or even revenge genre. It doesn't make for a great novel, but it can be really enjoyable for wasting time. I'm currently following half a dozen korean novels personally with protagonists that are what I said, and enjoying the ride.
     
  12. Blank-1

    Blank-1 Fantasy-holic

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    The protagonists of Omniscient Reader (whose MO from the start is pretty much self sacrifice for others) and Possessing Nothing (who’s like that form the start, but aims for the nearly impossible dream of the ‘end of martial arts’)
     
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  13. Swift Gull

    Swift Gull Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if this defines different to me

    I felt : -
    The Great Storyteller
    God Of Cooking

    were all novels were MC had a different goal which was not as cliched as others and the authors tried to write something new and they did. These were great novels to read for me personally where MC has a different goal and makes friends and people to help him along the way/
     
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  14. asriu

    asriu fu~ fu~ fu~

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    Eleques is KR novel about unfortunate soul pop up on great water spirit try to figure out wut da heck happening?! and goes along the way~ anyo~

    king of shura.....nah~
    sword emperor.... nah no further translation~
    darkmage, mix of fantasy and martial art~ as far as it translated MC want kind of revenge... to society too bad it translations halted

    what this cat read from skimming some KR novel on action theme novel~ gritty lone warrior~ read some villain theme.... drama every where.....

    yeah is there no mofumofu stuff?
    maybe KR novel author is too stressful with their irl live so mofumofu is out of consideration~
     
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  15. gyan7

    gyan7 Well-Known Member

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    I identify as a KR protagonist/animal.
     
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